14 August 2012

On Addressing Maam/Sir to Military Spouses

Disclaimer: This post is my personal point of view and not of the AFP or its members' per se.

     I really don't know when did the issue of addressing the military wives/husbands "maam" or "sir" began. But as for me, as an army officer's wife and as an officer for that matter do not see this as a big deal. But everytime I hear some rumors and hearsays i.e. "the wife of this is directing me to call her maam since my husband is her husband's junior", I kept wondering why this topic is always being brought up.
     My two cents on the issue:
     In my own perception, a military spouse is addressed as "maam/sir" not solely because you are an officer's wife/husband but because it is customary on the part of the military to call civilians as maam or sir. I think if you are just on the same rank bracket, whether what class/batch you belong, it would be better to just address each other on a first name basis. Besides, we wouldn't know when the time comes when our respective spouses will opt to bow out the service earlier that their required term of retirement. Just like the old saying goes, "those whom you meet as you get promoted and as you go up the ladder of ranks are the same people whom you will meet when you go down", and that is during one's retirement.
     On the other hand, it is my personal volition not to be called by other junior officers' civilian spouse as maam. Why? They were never part of any military training institution and I am not their teacher, not unless, the spouse is also part of the military and is an underclass. If one may say that "Rank Has Its Privilege", yes, it has! Rank indeed has its privilege but I think, it is applicable only among the uniformed men. And maybe, some may forget that though RHIP exists, "RANK HAS ITS RESPONSIBILITY" also exist and must be exercised more than the latter.
     In my own case, I have my own set of military wives friends who even belong to higher classes. Well, I call some as "maam" or even pronounced it as "mom" since I treat them as my foster mothers. I call some of my upperclassmen's wife on their first name, yet, I dont get any negative feedback since I talk to them in a tactful manner. I have my underclass wives friends and I would not want them calling me maam. I opt to be called "ate", "sis" or plainly "Vee". 
     As I have said, this is just my point of view. I think every person is entitled to his/her own opinion anyway.